View Full Version : Genetics & heritability: professor discovers murderers in his ancestry

FGC Corp
01-21-2019, 07:18 PM
Excerpt from article:

Murders are tragic but rare. But what drives some people to kill? Michael Mosley has been looking into research exploring the minds of murderers.

"Jim Fallon, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, has a particularly personal interest in this research. After discovering a surprisingly large number of murderers in his family tree he had himself genetically tested and discovered he had an awful lot of genes that have been linked to violent psychopathic behaviour.

As he puts it: "People with far less dangerous genetics become killers and are psychopaths than what I have. I have almost all of them"

But Jim isn't a murderer - he's a respected professor.
His explanation is that he was protected from a potentially violent legacy by a happy childhood. "If you've the high-risk form of the gene and you were abused early on in life, your chances of a life of crime are much higher. If you have the high-risk gene but you weren't abused, then there really wasn't much risk. So just a gene by itself, the variant doesn't really dramatically affect behaviour, but under certain environmental conditions there is a big difference".